Tom Armbruster was scheduled to depart Majuro Wednesday this week, his last day as the US government’s ambassador to the RMI.
New Ambassador Karen Stewart was confirmed by the US Senate last week, which green lighted Armbruster to make reservations and go “wheels up” as he heads to San Antonio, Texas to join his wife Kathy, who left several months ago.
“It’s been an honor to represent the United States in the Marshall Islands,” he said Tuesday. “I’m pleased to have been a friend of the Marshalls since August 2012. The US will rightly be seen as successful if the Marshall Islands is successful. As a major development partner, we want to see the Marshalls continue on a path towards prosperity and greater independence with a vibrant, healthy, well educated population.”
Normally, US ambassadors are on a three-year assignment. But “normal” went out the window last year when President Barack Obama’s first nominee to replace Armbruster pulled out of consideration, substantially delaying the process. Stewart was nominated late last year and went for a confirmation hearing earlier this year before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“There are many Americans, like me, who have been touched by the people, the history, the culture and the beauty of the Marshall Islands who will remember your smiles, your sunsets, and your rich ocean home,” said Armbruster. “Kommol, im bar lo kom. Whirlwind out!”
Read more about this in the May 27, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.